A serious tumble or fall can be a traumatic experience requiring medical care, time off of work, and even rehabilitation for long-term effects. However, if someone else is responsible for your injuries, consider consulting with a Gainesville slip and fall lawyer. These incidents can be difficult to recover from and even harder to litigate, but an experienced attorney at Smith Hulsey could provide valuable representation at the negotiating table or in court so that you can focus on your healing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hundreds of thousands of people suffer slip and fall injuries requiring hospitalization every year. The most common consequences of these accidents include broken bones (hip fractures) and head traumas.
Falls can occur anywhere, including homes, workplaces, shopping malls, or streets. These accidents are frequently caused by the following unsafe conditions:
Unfortunately, these dangerous conditions can leave victims struggling to pay for costly medical care and long-term treatment, especially if they cannot work due to their injuries. In these cases, pursuing compensation with seasoned legal support could be a victim’s best chance at recovering for their expenses.
It is the owner’s responsibility to keep their property safe and warn of hazards, but whether they could be held liable in a slip and fall lawsuit depends on why the injured person was on the premises.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated identifies three classes of visitors with each due a different level of care. These classifications include invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is someone whose presence benefits the property owner, such as a shopper in a retail store or an amusement park attendee. As defined in O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1, this class deserves the most protection. For invitees, property owners must fix hazardous situations in a timely manner or warn about risks.
As described in O.C.G.A. § 51-3-2, licensees enter a location for their own purposes but with the owner’s permission, such as house guests. In these cases, landowners must maintain safe premises but are not required to uncover risks or address potential safety threats. If a licensee is injured on someone else’s property, the owner will not be liable unless they engaged in willful or wanton conduct.
Trespassers are people who enter a location without permission. As such, property owners have no obligation to keep their premises safe for this visitor class beyond avoiding willful or wanton actions.
The distinctions between these groups can be difficult to understand in certain cases. A knowledgeable attorney could explain which protections apply for an injured Gainesville resident and help craft an effective strategy for their circumstances.
Georgia law establishes strict timeframes for bringing personal injury claims, and most slip and fall cases have a two-year statute of limitations specified in Georgia Code § 9-3-33. Waiting too long to bring a claim may result in a case dismissal and lost ability to pursue compensation.
However, different deadlines apply if the responsible party is a government body, whether federal, state, or local. Injured parties must abide by shorter notice requirements and other procedural measures set out in the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Georgia Tort Claims Act. Different municipalities and counties may also have unique procedures.
A well-researched lawyer could explain the relevant deadlines to an injured Gainesville resident and help them avoid procedural mistakes when pursuing a slip and fall claim.
If you were injured due to someone’s failure to maintain their property, let a Gainesville slip and fall lawyer advise you on your legal options. The legal team at Smith Hulsey is experienced in holding negligent parties accountable and recouping the compensation that victims need to recover. We are just a call away, so please reach out today for a consultation.
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